The top NewsCut posts of 2017

Unless something blog shattering happens, it’s safe today to reveal the top posts on NewsCut in 2017 as measured by site traffic.

There’s no real significance to the list, of course. Traffic is enhanced or depressed by any number of factors, mostly involving who picks up and amplifies a post. This year was no exception.

For the most part, it was a decent 2017 in the NewsCut cubicle. Last week, we surpassed the previous record — last year’s — for visitor traffic, the coin of the blogging realm.

#10 Hospitalized Army vet puts ad in paper asking for letters
In February, James Wiitamaki was lonely and dying. He was in the VA hospital in St. Cloud, Minn., and he took out an ad in the paper asking people to send him letters. His family didn’t know he was placing the ad. People sent letters, and others visited. He died on March 1 at the VA hospital.

#9 Racism and Southwest light rail in Hopkins
Too many posts on NewsCut this year were about the intersection of racism and politics. In Hopkins, Bob Ivers never really had a chance to be elected mayor, but he got his moment to be remembered during a candidate forum declaring if SW LRT is built, the “riff-raff that’s moved into ‘Welfare-apolis,’ they’re going to get on that train. And you know where they’re going to end up? They’re going to end up down at the depot.”

McKayla Maroney

#8 Olympic gymnast describes abuse
The stories being told as part of the #MeToo hashtag have been gut wrenching and should be an embarrassment to any man. U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney’s, in particular, was horrifying when she posted it on Twitter. She also provided a road map for how to stop it. Earlier this month she wrote a letter to the judge prior to the sentencing of the team doctor. She said after his abuse, she was suicidal. She has since deleted her Twitter account.

#7 After Orono murder-suicide, a push to change custody laws
Few things get blog commenters stirred up like proposals to change Minnesota custody laws. Jude Nicolas Sandberg was killed by his mother in a murder-suicide in September. She had apparently been feuding with her ex-husband since a two-day custody battle in 2015. In the wake of his death, his family is vowing to seek changes to Minnesota custody laws.

#6 A Minnesota child dies by suicide
This post could have been written in any week of the year, but it was about Colin Morrissey, who was just 14 years old when he took his own life in April. He “took his life in a bad moment in time” his obituary said. “There is no room for whys, blame, or regrets; just random acts of Colin (silliness and love). We must all go forward and live,” his family said.

#5 A friend of a woman who took her life stands up to David Sedaris
Every year there’s always one old post that makes it into the top 10 for reasons that are unclear. Last year it was the old Internet myth that President Obama had invited another Pearl Harbor by assembling five aircraft carriers in the harbor at Virginia Beach. This year it’s this 2013 letter to a Massachusetts newspaper (the link no longer works, of course) that served as a rebuttal to a New Yorker article David Sedaris had written about his sister Tiffany’s death and life.

#4 NPR’s tweets expose a thin grasp of American history
There’s really no way around it. Americans are simply not very smart when it comes to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the principles upon which democracy was founded. On July Fourth — shouldn’t that have been a hint? — NPR issued a series of tweets that people called “trash” and said the liberal nonsense was a good reason to defund the network. It was the Declaration of Independence.

#3 United passenger dragged off overbooked flight
David Dao became the poster man for the drudgery of flying the nation’s airlines when he was forcibly pulled off a flight, only to run back onto the plane bloodied. It sparked a series of similar stories in the subsequent weeks before the nation moved on to other things. Or maybe people are finding nothing but joy in the skies since then. But video of Dao is just as heartbreaking and infuriating now as it was in April.

#2 Take infants to the wilderness, couple says. Here’s why
Maura and Bobby Marko are the type of parents who can make you think you raised your kids wrong, I wrote in July when the Twin Cities couple was planning a camping, cycling, hiking, and canoing trip in the north country with a 3-year-old and a 9-month-old. Nothing brings out the parental judges like stories of how other people are raising their kids. But this was easily one of my favorite posts of the year

#1 Few hurt feelings after 98-0 football rout
I’m not a fan of the Drudge Report in the least so I would have been just fine without the more than 100,000 page views it sent NewsCut’s way because of St. Scholastica’s 98-to-0 football loss to St. John’s University. I’m not entirely sure what Drudge’s fascination with the post was, but it probably involved participation trophies. St. Scholastica ended up just fine, by the way. After the opener, they ripped off seven wins in a row and finished the season 7-and-3.

There were better candidates, in my opinion. I would have gone with the story of the family of the NFL player who got to hear their dead son’s heart beating inside Rod Carew, for example. But NewsCut acknowledges the will of the people.